Sanding is one of the most commonly applied processes in all sectors of the industry.
It improves the surface finish of a metallic part by eliminating geometrical defects and change its roughness value. The result is:
This process is still mainly done by hand as the quality of the sanding depends on the operator’s skill and dexterity. It is, though, a particularly arduous task, that exposes operators to dust that frequently generates MSD (Musculoskeletal Disorders).
GEBE2 has developed a robotic metal sanding solution that reproduces the operator’s gestures and sensitivity. The central element, the effector, is equipped with a random orbital electric sander and a compliant device that applies a constant force in all directions, to the nearest N.
To enhance the autonomy and performance of their cells, GEBE2 has equipped its robots with automatic disc changers that provide for using a range of grain sizes.
Sanding quality is strongly related to the regularity of the sander’s motion on the part. Our offline programming software simulates all possible trajectories with a graphic display of the material’s removal.
GEBE2 provides custom-engineered CAD/CAM software for sanding robot that programs trajectories in hidden time based on the CAD file of the part. The graphic display of material removal guides the programmer and helps him obtain a smooth surface.
Robotic sanding cell realized for SABCA. The robot is mounted on a rail allowing to work on large parts (up to 8m length). It is equipped with a laser recognizing the parts and adjust its position. The robot uses 2 end-effectors to work: a sander with an automated disc change system and an electro-spindle working with different deburring or sanding tools.
This metal sanding application is designed to hide machining traces and obtain a uniform appearance over the whole surface of this out-of-round piece. This is achieved using a sensitive sanding effector that apply a constant force along the tool path. The sanding machine is still normal to the surface, that optimize the effectiveness of the process and the quality of the part.
To manufacturers facing small series and great diversity of parts, this is the appropriate and affordable solution. The autonomy of this COBOT improves the productivity of manual operations. Thanks to its mobility, it can be easily adapted to existing workstations without modifying the location of the workshop.
Without any special training, the operator becomes a COBOT Pilot, while retaining his profession. Finally this innovative sanding equipment meets the challenges of MSD (musculoskeletal disorders) increasingly present in production workshops.
In order to improve the surface appearance of shaped parts post-machining, the robot moves along the workpiece applying a rotary tool fitted with an abrasive material with a controlled force. Great care has been taken to create trajectories in order to obtain uniform roughness. This polishing operation can be combined with a random orbital sanding operation for finishing.
Stripping removes all machining traces that could reduce part fatigue strength including, in particular, aircraft wing panels. This application uses rotary tools associated with a compliance that guarantees uniform treatment.
The disc changer is vital to ensuring autonomous operation of the sanding robot. This device removes used abrasives and distributes new ones. Several disc feed storage can be installed depending on the range of grain sizes used.
Automation of metal finishing operations for SABCA
Discover the interview of Yoann BARON, Manufacturing engineer at SABCA. (video in French)
Why SABCA decided to automate the sanding and deburring operations ? And how GEBE2 met SABCA’s needs ?
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